Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May Secret Agent #49

TITLE: Mega Girl
GENRE: Middle Grade Contemporary Fantasy

I've known forever that I'm different.

And I don't mean different like Flower Filpot whose parents are vegans and
pack her bag lunches full of stuff like soyloaf sandwiches on spelt bread
and flax seed cookies.

No, I'm different in a different way.

Which is why I'm standing at the foot of the Pittmans' hundred-year-old oak
tree again when I've got only sixteen minutes to get to school.

I push my glasses up my nose. On a normal day I'd be staring at the Pittmans'
cat Stan. According to Mrs. Pittman, their other cat Ollie talks Stan into
climbing up the tree when he knows that Stan is too much of a scaredy cat to
get himself down.

But today, I'm looking up at Mr. Pittman, who sits on a high branch, hugging
the tree trunk and looking pretty embarrassed.

This morning my keen sense of smell led me to the Pittman's house. Dad calls
it my "super sniffer" because I can smell just about anything from a mile

Especially cinnamon.

I can't resist it. I love the Ooey Gooey store at the mall, and every time
me and Dad are there, he has to buy me a big, fat cinnamon bun, dripping
with icing. He says my mom was the same way.

The screen door slams as Mrs. Pittman stomps out, her blond, curly helmet
not budging a bit, and she shakes her finger at her husband. "I told you not
to go up there, didn't I?"


  1. I am seriously intrigued here. Want more!

  2. This is Awesome! Hooked!

    Good luck with SA!

  3. Hooray for Mega Girl! I love it!
    Miss Conan

  4. I'm liking Mega Girl's voice. I'd keep reading.

    Good luck!!

  5. I'm intrigued. But without clarification, which I assume you're intentionally delaying, this line is sort of silly: "I'm different in a different way"

  6. I just finished a book, The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen. I think a lot of YA female readers would like it. It involves magical realism and food. I was the only guy at the store when she came to town and felt a little silly. Glad I did though.

    Anyway, I would keep reading. This sounds good, and I know there is great potential in stories with magic and food. Good voice here.

  7. Fun voice, fun situation. You drizzle in (sorry, the cinnamon bun thing :)all kinds of details without being heavy handed.


    My only quibble is that we keep jumping out of the story to give examples, which are very fun and well done, but it distracts me. But that's just me.

    Best wishes!

  8. I love this. Great voice. And, you show us alot about her, without spelling it all out. Great job. Good luck!

  9. I know the title gives the MC's name (or nickname) but I think it should be in the opening somewhere. I thought this was interesting, and I'd keep reading.

  10. Partially hooked. Love the humor in this one, but I felt like I was being tugged backward one too many times (i.e., info about the cat and the cinnamon buns), when all I really wanted to do was know why she was pulled to this house, and why someone was up in a tree.

  11. Love it. Love the voice, love the setup..and I love Flower Filpot, even though she's only mentioned once! Would love to read more!

  12. I admit that I've read more of this MS beyond page one, but even knowing what I know about the character, I think this excerpt sets up her personality and conflict really well. The neighbor in the tree is a good hook and I like the other details sprinkled in about "Mega Girl" and her very different life!

  13. Gail said...

    I would read more. I like the voice. Mr. & Mrs. Pittman sound fun. Also like how you added the sentence about how her mom was the same way. Makes me wonder if her mother died.

  14. The wandering is distracting, but it's a cute premise.

  15. Fantastic. Wonderful pacing, intriguing, characters that pull you in. You've managed to do quite a lot (and very well) in 250 words.

  16. I'd keep reading! I'd like to know why and how MC is different and how she will get Mr. Pittman out of the tree - b/c obviously she will. I'm also intrigued by the cinnamon thing, so would keep reading to have that explained.

    Good voice - great job.

  17. I like this a lot. I'd keep reading, but I have to say that I have a hard time reading long pieces with lots of sentence fragments, especially sentence fragments as entire paragraphs. There are quite a few one sentence paragraphs here too. It reads too choppy to me. But a lot of writers have done it successfully, so your mileage may vary, as they say.

  18. Hooked! Mr. Pittman stuck up a tree! I loved it. You might start there. The telling us she's different part, is telling and talking to the reader. Same with the bit about the cinnamon. You can probably get away with it because the rest is so good, but you could also phrase it differently so it's part of the story rather than explanation.

    Quirky and fun - perfect for middle grade!

  19. What a fun story. I was hooked by Mr. Pittman in the tree. I did wonder about her keen sense of smell and how that led her to Mr. Pittman in the tree, since she goes to the tree every morning anyway. And I agree with the others - the few points that feel more like telling and tiny bits of info dump. Cute though.

  20. Cute. Would definitely keep reading.